Custodial parents in Georgia receiving child support typically receive payments until their child turns 18 or graduates from high school, depending upon the terms of the child custody agreement and support order. Though an extended period of child support may be granted in situations in which the child has a qualifying disability, the average support order ends when a child is 18. After years of receiving child support, custodial parents are often unprepared for the end of financial support. If you are the parent of a child who is soon graduating high school and planning to attend college, it is important that you spend time preparing for child support to end.
Review Your Budget
Child support is often a big portion of a custodial parent’s existing budget. Having the funds cut off can potentially be detrimental if alternative forms of income are not found. In other households that are not dependent upon child support, the income is still calculated into the monthly income. Before child support ends, it is important that you spend time reviewing your income and expenses to determine how the loss of income will affect you overall. Reviewing your budget will give you an idea of how best to shift things around to ensure that all expenses are still covered even without child support as an income source.
Talk to Your Children
Discussing the loss of child support income is important if the majority of your children’s needs are met through the use of the support received. In situations in which you will not be able to provide them with as many items each month without child support, it is important to prepare them for the loss. Children who need money for college, a car payment, or other expenses may need time to search for employment or work study opportunities with their new college. They may also need time to discuss their college needs with their non-custodial parent in the hope of getting financial assistance directly from their other parent.
Ending or Changing Child Support Through the Court
Though child support is supposed to automatically terminate, the system does not handle the transition smoothly. Adults who have a child support order including multiple children may need to file a motion through the court directly to have their monthly obligation reduced. In other cases, a non-custodial parent will have to request that the child support order be terminated, especially in cases when the child does not graduate from high school at the age of 18. Georgia law allows children to receive child support up until the age of 20 if they are still in high school, and occasionally, the parents of children who graduate when they are older do not automatically have their child support case closed after graduation.
When to Contact an Attorney
Child support can sometimes be complicated even when the order itself seems clear cut and easy to understand. There are times when child support payments continue after they are supposed to end, and sometimes the payments end prematurely. If either situation occurs contacting a child support attorney will increase your chances of getting the matter resolved quickly. The skilled attorneys at Vayman & Teitelbaum are able to provide you with the zealous representation that you deserve. Contact them at 678-736-7700 today to schedule a consultation at one of the practice’s four convenient locations.